The UConn Huskies baseball team will head down to Greenville, North Carolina this weekend to take on the East Carolina Pirates in an American Athletic Conference matchup at ECU’s Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The series puts one of the hottest teams in the conference in UConn against one of the best teams in the nation in East Carolina.
The games will start at 6:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday respectively before the series concludes with a noon start on Sunday. This three-game series will not be the only weekend series between the two teams as they will matchup again in Storrs at J.O. Christian Field from May 6 to May 8.
That series will be in the weekend following finals week for UConn, which will be something to look out for from the Huskies point-of-view.
The Huskies (20-16, 5-3 American) are coming into the series with a lot of momentum on their side, having won seven of their last eight games, including a four-game conference win streak which puts them at second place in the conference standings.
UConn will be looking to extend their conference win streak this weekend against the Pirates (24-13, 5-4 American). ECU, ranked 20th in the latest polls, enter the weekend having won four of their last six games.
This stretch of good play for the Huskies has been fueled by their excellent pitching staff, led by Anthony Kay, Tim Cate and William Montgomerie. The trio has combined for 164 strikeouts in 134.1 IP, which has helped put UConn at ninth in the nation for strikeouts per nine innings.
Furthermore, freshman closer Randy Polonia has earned six saves on the year, which puts him in a tie for eighth with Patrick Ruotolo in 2015 for most saves in a single season in program history. With many games still left on the schedule, the record held by Kevin Vance (2011) with 13 saves in a season could be in question.
Offensively, the Huskies’ batters have also really stepped it up as of late. Following a number of mediocre performances at the plate, UConn’s bats are finally alive, which has been huge for the team’s confidence and win streak.
The team is led by senior Bobby Melley, who now has sole possession of first for active players on the career hits list with 260, is fourth in career doubles with 55, and is eighth in career RBI with 151.
His leadership at the plate along with the re-emergence of Joe DeRoche-Duffin, who hit three home runs last week alone, has been huge for the Huskies, and will continue to be of the utmost importance as the season comes to a close.
Chris Hanna is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.